The first time, I didn’t want to…

Lana, 2012

Lana, 2012

Some of you have heard me say this… my first experience with the Art of Feminine Presence was somewhat … underwhelming.

The experience was via an introduction night which I attended out of curiosity, and because I was going to be around anyway. I had no idea what to expect and likely some guard up going in.

In the evening I did have moments of thinking ‘hmm, interesting’ and also ‘oh, weird!’

And while I didn’t sign up at that time to do any further work with the presenting instructor, I did receive an important insight into myself. Which was that I had no idea really of what the Feminine meant to me. The Feminine as I personally related to her was rather foreign; any inkling that I did harbour somewhere was flimsy, diminutive to the extreme. I was a bit stunned.

(And, I see now years later, rather ashamed about it… to be so confronted with my own ignorance and prejudice even after all the work I’d done up to that point.)

The next day, unexpectedly, I had a chance to talk to the same instructor, the teacher from the night before. That was when we had met, we didn’t know each other at all. During our conversation she said something to me so random and out of the blue, that I knew it was the Universe speaking to me directly. Indicating that, despite my resistance, this was something I should do.  (Indeed, when I asked her about this later, she said she had no idea why she had said this thing)

Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to attend these classes of hers once my prior commitment ended and once she had space in the circle.

Have you ever had that experience of resisting something (perhaps even a person!) only to have it (them) persist in showing up in your face? I can find it somewhat reassuring – like, even if my ego stands in the way of what is good for me, the Universe will not give up on showing me the path of my own highest good. But… I also find it annoying. It’s uncomfortable too, isn’t it?

This is also what has me feel very understanding of some of the women I encounter who feel this resistance in the face of strong indications that it should be a ‘yes.’

There is no need to force anything and, also, comfort is not always our friend. Sometimes we need a nudge, sometimes a push. And better to surrender at that point until it becomes something along the lines of a shove (such as pain, illness, loss).

It worked out to 4 months  after that introduction that I made it to my first, real Art of Feminine Presence circle. Again, I had no idea what to expect and perhaps had I known, I would have made some effort to participate sooner…  more on that soon.


The People Who Hold You

Painting by artist Varsha Kharatamal

Painting by artist Varsha Kharatamal

For many people, the expectation exists that friends and family (especially our partner) are going to be able to provide all the emotional support we need and we rely on them for such. Often though the people who we’ve known the longest are the most reluctant and unwilling to see us change. Are unable to see us in a new light or support us in the transformation or explorations we need to make in life.

This does not necessarily mean that we must cut people out of our lives (though sometimes that may be the appropriate thing to do). What it does mean for people on a path of growth and transformation is that we find other spaces and people who can hold us for the new possibilities we are living into. It is important that we find like-minded souls who have no baggage or history with us to entangle us in past patterns.

I’ve heard it said by a lot of people that it is hard to make friends as adults. I have found the opposite to be true. Many of the most substantive and beautiful friendships I have right now are with people I met when I was in my mid to late 30s. And as I expect meaningful connections to continue, they have done so.

The more I am able to expand my circles and be witnessed, held and supported in transformation the better I am when I return to those challenging scenarios with people I love but who are invested in seeing me in only one way from a long time ago.

This is some of what we get in the Art of Feminine Presence circles (if this resonates, please check it out and fill out the form for a chat or come visit us at an introduction).

Whatever that space is for you, I hold that you find it and that you flourish.

Painting by Varsha Kharatamal

P.S.

Have you heard the saying that ‘blood is thicker than water’? Did you know that it was cut down from the original?

The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb


Making Sparks

Art by Autumn Skye Morrison

Art by Autumn Skye Morrison

I had made all sorts of judgments about this man based on his clothes, his stance, his manner of speaking. I discerned in my mind his intelligence, his interests, essentially his value. I had him pegged pretty early and quickly. I didn’t give much thought to whether it was true or not. He was kind of amusing to me from afar and didn’t have much to offer me.

Then on this night when the community was having a party, he came over to stand beside me.

He put his hand on my shoulder and asked me a question.

In those few seconds a lot could have taken hold of my attention but what was most palpable to me were not his actions or his words but rather his energy.

And my response to it

Which was fully

Pulled in and

Drawn to his.

He *felt* fantastic to me. Cat nip. Like if we were to picture or imagine energy as the field around me, every part of it suddenly felt amazing, buzzing and tingling with his. No gaps, no icky feelings, no lack of clarity, no doubts. I just wanted to stand in this and drink it in for as long as it existed. I felt so much pleasure with our energy mixing just standing there.

Given the manner in which my eyes and ears had perceived and discounted him, I was so utterly surprised.

The night before had another man approach me.  Different dude, different energy. He came on to me gently but undeniably. Again, I didn’t expect it but I was curious about the energy thing so I spent some time with him, let him tell me about his life philosophy and ways.

And while we had some laughs and some fun moments, the energy wasn’t quite matching up. He wasn’t quite hitting the mark, I wasn’t losing myself in these moments. Things were coming up a bit short and I was distracted and feeling disappointed that.

It’s all about energy.

If the energy is a match between two people, it creates an unpredictable, delightful magic. And I’ve found it often won’t correspond to what the eyes find pretty and delicious. Maybe this is why so many of us end up unfulfilled. Allowing the eyes to determine the criteria and taking our cues from there, we’ve already potentially cut off our best, most feel-sensational matches.

And it goes the other way too. If we spend significantly more time and effort on our external appearance rather than cultivating, exploring and enjoying our energy then we aren’t going to be attracting our highest matches (whether it’s for pleasure, knowledge, marriage or business)

Like I did with the first dude when I determined I knew exactly what he was all about. Because ultimately what I then was able to discover was how layered, nuanced and interesting he actually is. And moreover, what he had to teach me about myself.

So the moral of the story? If you want to find happiness, delight, knowing, sexual satisfaction work on your energy and presence. It’s a dynamic, ever-flowing, shifting experience of life.

This is what we do here #livingfemininepresence


Of Men and Bleeding

Art: by Alain Bonnefoit

Art: by Alain Bonnefoit

I was 24 and just a few weeks into a new relationship. When my blood started, he rented some videos for us to watch. He went to pick up supplies and comfort foods. And he held my hurting belly and rubbed my aching back as we curled up and watched the kind of rom-com movies I only enjoy at this time.

It was like a dream come true. His loving gestures made for the most exquisite experience of a period I’d ever had up until that time. It was probably that day I really fell in love with him…

A few months in, it got even better. He wanted to make love to me on my period and get as intimate as he could with my blood. I was reluctant, squeamish, concerned, self-conscious.

Not him. It was a level of intimacy that he craved. And I did too but maybe never dreamed believe it was possible.

See, the guy I had been seeing right before was the polar opposite. He was squeamish, ignorant, judgmental about blood. He would comment on it being that time of the month if I was standing my ground. The one time he dared experiment with sex, he ended it about after a minute when he saw my blood on his belly. I knew from the start it was doomed…

But I stayed longer than I should have. I didn’t have a lot of experience with more enlightened males. I had no brothers so very few male figures in my life save my father. And that man was a relic from an older time. One time I got into SERIOUS trouble when I forgot to toss out a pad and my father went into the bathroom after me to discover it there. Lying there. Exposed and offending his eyes and his maleness. As if I did it deliberately. As if it did personal harm to him. Like, no kidding.

So it’s how I grew up. These things were not to be mentioned! And if and when they were, there would be scorn, mockery, derision. No wonder my periods growing up and for much of my adult life were so excruciating and painful.

So it was such a gift to encounter this man in my adult life. He allowed me to see that there could be beauty and joy during my bleeding. I felt loved. I felt that this blood was sacred, beautiful. This gift changed the course and experience of my life and I am so very grateful.

It’s the manner in which men have impacted my experience with menstruation. How has it been for you?

Art: by Alain Bonnefoit